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Will Bankruptcy Keep Me From Getting a Job?

Credit affects everything these days. From financing a new car to getting a job, we know that our credit can make a difference. It can be the difference between paying 0 percent interest for a new car or 15 percent or more. When it comes to employment, there is a lot of misinformation on the Web. So, what can you do if you are facing bankruptcy? First, finding an experienced Orlando bankruptcy attorney is a good place to start. But after that, you may still worry. You need a job, but you also know you cannot continue sinking further into debt. As the walls close in, many consumers are left terrified that bankruptcy will cost them their jobs or make it impossible to find one in the future. To answer some of these questions, consider the following.

Can I be denied a job due to a bankruptcy?

Yes and no. On one hand, federal bankruptcy laws make it unlawful for the government to discriminate against a potential applicant solely because he or she has filed bankruptcy. Likewise, the law also restricts how private employers may use this information in hiring decisions. Nevertheless, private employers can still use overall credit history as part of the hiring decision. This practice is becoming more common for positions in the financial services industries, such as banking, accounting, legal, or trading. Any profession where financial responsibility is key is likely to require a credit check. While an employer is not supposed to discriminate, the employer might simply use a different reason to deny employment. Proving the real motivation for the hiring decision can be practically impossible.

Can I be terminated from my job because of a bankruptcy?

Again, it is unlawful to terminate an employee for seeking protections under the Bankruptcy Code. However, it does happen. Nevertheless, let’s look at this one carefully. Unless your job has a contract requiring disclosure of bankruptcy filings, which is typically only an issue for senior executives, there is little reason to think your employer would ever learn of your bankruptcy. Although some may see it as an ethical obligation to report it, in most cases a bankruptcy is no different from any other private legal matter. It is your private matter and unless you are legally required to disclose it, there is no reason to do so.

If your employer does learn about it, you can calmly explain that it is a private matter and you are doing everything required of you, as instructed by your attorney. This further underscores the value of having an attorney to consult throughout the process.

Will a bankruptcy affect my security clearance?

It is possible that a bankruptcy could have severe effects on security clearances. Although the government may not discriminate against you based on your bankruptcy, this does not extend to specific clearances. If you are employed by a federal or state agency that requires a clearance, evidence of a recent bankruptcy can be used to deny clearance. Once you lose your clearance, you could potentially lose your job because you no longer meet the minimum standards for the position. If you suspect this applies to you, then you should ask your attorney and investigate your employer’s clearance requirements before filing.

What about professional licenses?

Professional licenses are generally considered privileges. Therefore, the granting authority bestows licensure on those it sees fit to earn the credential. Medical doctors, attorneys, CPAs, and paramedics, among others, all have to answer to their own regulatory authorities. Those authorities decide what qualifies as a potential bar to the profession. If you are concerned about getting licensed or maintaining a professional license, you should consult that authority directly.

Ultimately, bankruptcy is not the end. It is a new beginning. Nevertheless, it is not without its share of difficulties and challenges. You will likely face a new host of uphill battles, including some that may affect your employment. However, provided you work closely with a bankruptcy lawyer and do your research, you will most likely get through it just fine. The key is accurate information and planning.

If you need bankruptcy assistance in Orlando, or you have other questions, contact the attorneys at the office of Amy E. Goodblatt today. We are happy to help.

GOODBLATT · LEO is located and serves clients in and around Orlando, FL.

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